historical

The Daily Grind: What exactly defines an ‘indie’ MMORPG studio?

Earlier this week, I happened to see a mainstream website refer to ArtCraft as an indie studio, and it jolted me. ArtCraft, as anybody reading MOP knows, is working on Crowfall, which at least in my estimation is a high-quality, graphics-intensive MMORPG from hardcore MMORPG veterans who’ve been in the business as long as anyone alive. The game has raised at least $12M or maybe $15M, at least counting up what we know about.

When I think of indie studios, I think of the tiny outfits working on games like Project Gorgon, Ever, Jane, and Ascent the Space Game. But of course Crowfall is also an indie, right? It’s not running a $500M budget; it’s not ensconced under a cozy AAA publisher umbrella. It crowdfunds.

Then again, aside from the budget/wealth, its profile looks like a bit like Epic Games’ – it even has an engine to vend now. So is it really just about money? Is Star Citizen, with its multiple studios and AAA budget, an indie because of crowdfunding? Camelot Unchained studio CSE has multiple studios – does that factor in?

I’m curious what you folks think. What exactly defines an indie MMO studio? What characteristics must an indie studio have or not have?

Read more

Dark Age of Camelot answers player questions about damage reduction and defensive actions

When a game has been running as long as Dark Age of Camelot has, it stands to reason that the players remaining are going to be deeply invested in the game and quite familiar with its mechanics. So if you approach DAOC’s most recent grab bag, understand that you will be entering a zone in which deep and granular questions are asked and answered.

Among the community queries this past week include the issue of whether or not Kertom still drops black weapon enamel (he does, whew), the stacking proc effect of a Howling Predator Vest (why would you want your vest to howl?), and the order in which defensive actions resolve in the game.

By far, the longest answer revolved around players’ Base AF and how that affects damage reduction. “Armor quality affects both the chance that your armor will absorb the blow at all and if that roll is successful, how much damage will be mitigated,” the devs said. “Armor condition also affects how much damage is mitigated.”

Comment

War Thunder introduces a soccer mode through July 9

It’s around World Cup season once again, and that means everyone is wondering when the United States will care about soccer to the level of forgetting other sports exist. Do you need to have tanks? Because War Thunder is bringing you tank soccer. Yes, you can drive around in tanks which are also playing soccer. This is helped by the fact that it’s impossible to touch a ball with the hands of your tank, because your tank does not, strictly speaking, have any hands.

The event minigame will award participants with a special fiery soccer ball decal, so you’ll want to get in on the 3v3 random queues or the 4v4 squad queues if you want to forever have a burning soccer ball on the side of your tank. Also the whole thing will be called “football,” because the United States is the only country where it’s not called “football.” In summary, even if you can’t bring yourself to care about the sport, care enough to get an event reward.

Read more

Maps and music bring culture and history to your Guild Wars 2 play

It’s time to get your culture on in Guild Wars 2.

Up first: Dataminer @that_shaman has posted a massive update to his Historical Guide to Tyria (and Elona) maps, basically making it a completely interactive mash-up map of Tyria as it was in Guild Wars and now Guild Wars 2. Hopelessly confused about what’s where in the modern version of the game? You can just click around this map and it’ll pop out links to the official wiki explaining what happened there in the original game and why you ought to care. Not to mention, it’s a great bird’s-eye view of which chunks of the map ArenaNet has brought forward into the latest game, which new parts it’s built it up, and where we might yet go.

And wouldn’t it be nice to have some lovely music to listen to while you’re dipping into map nostalgia? Composer Maclaine Diemer posted some of the music from the last couple of GW2 episodes to get you through.

Read more

The MOP Up: EverQuest II’s scorched sky policy (July 1, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from ElswordCrossoutARK ParkEverQuest IIDark and LightConan ExilesKritika OnlineLineage 2 RevolutionOld School RuneScapeTitan QuestMU OriginWorld of Tanks MercenariesSMITE, and RuneScape, all waiting for you after the break!

Read more

The Game Archaeologist: Raph Koster on MUDs and Privateer Online

The release of Raph Koster’s monster book of game essays, Postmortems, was of high interest to Bree and me for different reasons. For her, it was because Koster was a creative driving force behind two of her favorite games, Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. For me, it’d because Koster shares my passion for MMO history and has some unique stories touching on topics that no one has heard before.

So I combed through his collection of essays to see what I could find out on two topics of interest to me: MUDs and the elusive Privateer Online. Chances are that many of you reading have never touched a text-based multi-user dungeon, and none of us save Koster and his coworkers, ever got to even peek at Privateer Online.

Here’s a few quotes that popped out at me, and if you’re interested and have $35 to drop on a Kindle version, you can read Koster’s full collection of essays in Postmortems.

Read more

Perfect Ten: The best MMO debuts by year, 1997-2006

By now, many of you probably know that I’m the curator of the MMO Timeline on my personal blog. On this page, I’ve attempted to catalog the launches, expansions, business model shifts, reboots, platform transitions, and sunsets of MMOs by year. It certainly helps me to get a high-level overview of certain eras of online gaming history as well as to trace the development of certain titles.

For fun, because that’s a lot of what Perfect Ten is about, I wanted to start with the year that MMORPGs really took off and select one title per year over the next two decades that I felt had the best debut and was the most exciting title to launch that year. Some years it’s going to be really easy to pick, while others… man, I am setting myself up for some hate mail, aren’t I?

Let’s turn our time machine back to 1997 and get this show on the road!

Read more

Fortnite: Pollsters and academics examine purchases, pay-to-win, and motivation vs. addiction

Remember the old adage that less than 10% of a free-to-play playerbase pay for the other 90%? A poll conducted by LendEDU and Pollfish attempts to cast some shadow on that assumption. The groups say they surveyed 1000 hardcore Fortnite players and determined that almost 70% of them had spent money on the game – an average of $84 apiece for those who did, the majority of that on outfits and characters. More than a third of them had apparently never spent money on a game before.

However, it seems to have been a self-reported survey of highly invested people who identified Fortnite as their primary game, so it’s not really a fully random cross-section of all Fortnite players; one might assume that the type of people who consider themselves Fortnite fanatics and would answer a survey like this would be exactly the type to pay into the game and thereby skew the results.

Read more

Final Fantasy XIV’s community is rocked by a fansite sexual harassment scandal

When it comes to ranking friendly, warm, and welcoming MMO communities, Final Fantasy XIV is right up there near or at the top of the list. Yet that doesn’t mean it is free from some of the corrupt and evil influences of the world, as evidenced in a recent scandal that involves a fansite, blackmail, and sexual harassment.

The fansite in question is The Moogle Post, one of the largest FFXIV community sites on the internet and which was led by an editor-in-chief known as Oldbear Stormborn. Nine women — part of a group of 15 called “Anonymous Janes” — came forward to PC Gamer to accuse Oldbear of “blackmail, coercion, and extensive emotional manipulation” of those he grew attached to in game and through the site.

Some of these accusations include Oldbear’s alleged use of nude photos as leverage to blackmail the women. In all of the situations, his accusers say, he would form a bond with women and then attempt to manipulate them, make unwanted advances, and isolate them from others.

Read more

Dark Age of Camelot delays its free-to-play shift to 2019

While we reported in December 2017 that Broadsword was aiming for a free-to-play option for Dark Age of Camelot, we haven’t seen a lot of movement on that front — until now. A recent producer’s letter informed the community that the Endless Crusade update with its business model shift has been delayed to the first part of 2019.

“Once patch 1.125 has released, we’ll be shifting our development resources towards the Endless Conquest update,” the team said. “As mentioned in some previous grab bags this option will now be made available to returning and new accounts rather than just newly created ones. This change does increase the scope of the Endless Conquest update considerably but we strongly believe it’s the right way forward for Dark Age of Camelot!”

In addition to working on the F2P version, Broadsword is busy focusing on this summer’s Patch 1.125 (which includes RvR currency, RvR reward streamlining, and two new class/race combos per realm), a new fall harvest event, and a new website.

Comment

The MOP Up: Neverwinter’s five-year anniversary and Ravenloft campaign (June 24, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from World of WarplanesWorld of Warships LegendsPlayerUnknown’s BattlegroundsSea of ThievesSkull and BonesOld School RuneScapeSMITEWar ThunderNeverwinter, and Pokemon Go, all waiting for you after the break!

Read more

And tanks: World of Tanks revives World Cup soccer mode, War Thunder rolls out Project X

Ahhhh World Cup madness is upon the sportsball world right now, and if you happen to be into both soccer/football and tanks, well then I have some epic news for you: As of yesterday, World of Tanks has brought back Tank Football, its soccer mode, with some sweet new additions and prizes.

World of Tanks PC marks the biggest footballing event with the return of Tank Football, this time with three specialist roles and Gianluigi ‘Gigi’ Buffon as a commentator. The metal machines are ready to tear up the pitch, go for glory and be crowned victorious, all while the Italian legend gives a running commentary of a game. […] Tank Football 2018 is a return to 3 vs 3 matches where everyone is vying for glory. These matches take place in 3 special arenas, including one inspired by Moscow’s biggest stadium and host to the final, the Luzhniki. Three unique tanks, all with their own specialist roles and abilities on the pitch, are ready to be crowned champions. So whether players like to play up front or from the back, there are roles for everyone.”

Read more

World of Tanks: Mercenaries abolishes loyalties on consoles this month

“No more loyalties. No more rules.”

Forget what you might have known about World of Tanks’ structure and gameplay format, because Wargaming is about ready to change everything up with this month’s Mercenaries.

The console-exclusive expansion pack, which is arriving on June 26th, will plunge players into a lawless, free-for-all environment as they fight in a new mercenaries faction. Mercs will have access to five new tanks cobbled together from parts of different nations’ vehicles, experience variants of many of the game’s maps, and proceed through a dark story campaign that pits players against both the USA and USSR.

Mercenaries will arrive as a free content update for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Wargaming announced that to date, World of Tanks has racked up over 15 million players.

Read more

1 2 3 37